Antoine Griezmann confirms Atletico Madrid stay

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Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann has confirmed he will stay at Atletico Madrid this summer following the club’s failure to skirt a transfer ban.

The Frenchman had been linked with a move away, most heavily with Manchester United, but after the Court of Arbitration for Sport rejected the club’s appeal, the club would have been unable to sign a replacement. Griezmann refused to leave Diego Simeone in such a position, and therefore made his decision.

Speaking to French television channel Telefoot, Griezmann explained his decision. “Atlético cannot recruit,” he said. “Together with my agent, Eric Olhats, we decided to stay. It’s a hard time for the club. It would be a dirty move to leave now. We talked to the leaders and we will be back for next season.”

Atletico’s transfer ban only lasts through this summer and ends January 1st, so it’s possible that Griezmann could end up leaving in the winter transfer window. The club was sanctioned for a breach of transfer rules regarding minors. A similar punishment for similar violations was recently brought down on both Barcelona and Real Madrid, with Barcelona unable to sign players for the 2015 calendar year, while Real Madrid’s ban was lifted by a one-man CAS panel leaving them only incapacitated for the January 2017 window.

Rumors involving Griezmann had always been pending the CAS decision, although many expected the club to see a favorable ruling since Real Madrid was let off easy in the winter.

Manchester United will now be forced to look elsewhere, with links to Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata picking up steam. There have been rumblings of a swap deal for Morata involving David De Gea, with cash likely needed from Madrid to even the pot.